Safiya Martin
Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University

Women's Basketball

Women's Basketball Hosts No. 2/2 UConn on Sunday

PHILADELPHIA -- The Temple women's basketball team will host two-time defending NCAA Champion UConn on Sunday at 2 p.m. at McGonigle Hall. Temple (10-11, 6-2) will be looking to upset the No. 2/2 Huskies (19-1, 9-0), who come to Philadelphia having won 27-straight American Athletic Conference games. 

The Owls are coming off a 71-54 win over UCF on Tuesday, sweeping the season series against the Knights. Against UCF, five Owls scored in double figures and Temple used a late 22-2 run to put the game away. Junior Erica Covile led the way with team highs of 17 points and eight rebounds, while rounding out her stat line with four steals, three assists, and two blocks. Senior Tyonna Williams had 13 points, including three from beyond-the-arc, helping Temple to a 41.7% effort from three-point range. Freshman Tanaya Atkinson contributed 12 points, while classmate Alliya Butts and sophomore Feyonda Fitzgerald each had 11. 

Temple has relied on a balanced offensive attack all season, as five players are averaging above 9.5 points per game. Fitzgerald leads the way with 12.1 points per game, while dishing out 2.7 assists per contest, with Butts chipping in 11.3 points and a team-high 2.1 steals per game. Erica Covile averages 11.3 points and a team-best 9.3 boards per game, while Atkinson is fourth on Temple in scoring (11.0 ppg) and second in rebounding (7.0 rpg). Rounding out the individual leaders, senior Tyonna Williams averages 9.7 points and a team-best 3.0 assists per game. 

Temple is a 35.9% shooting team, but is coming off a pair of games in which the Owls shot over 40%. At the charity stripe, the Owls connect on 70.3% of attempts and also make 31.7% of shots from three-point range. The Owls are being out-rebounded by a slim margin, 41.8-41.8, but out-score opponents, 66.8-65.6, on the season.

Two-time defending NCAA Champion UConn has won 18-straight since a mid-November loss to then No. 6 Notre Dame. UConn, ranked as the No. 2 team in the latest AP/USA Today polls, is rolling in conference play, most recently picking up an 87-32 win over East Carolina.  Kiah Stokes recorded the fourth triple-double in program history, notching 10 points, 11 rebounds and a school-record 10 blocked shots against ECU. Morgan Tuck scored 17 points, while Breanna Stewart added 14 points and a career high five steals. 

UConn has beaten its conference foes by an average of 50 points a game this season. Five players average in double-figures for the high-scoring Huskies, led by Stewart's 16.8 points per game. She also averages 6.9 rebounds per outing and is second on the team with 43 total blocks. Sophomore Morgan Tuck scores 14.5 points per game, while Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis averages 14.2, and the country in three-point FG percentage at 50.9%. Freshman Kia Nurse (11.9 ppg) and junior Moriah Jefferson (11.7) round out the double-digit scorers, with Jefferson contributing a team-best 4.7 assists per contest. Senior Kiah Stokes contributes off the bench for UConn, leading the team with 8.2 rebounds per game and 93 total blocks. 

UConn scores a conference-best and national best, 89.9 points per game, while holding opponents under 50 points per game. The Huskies also lead the nation in field goal offense (53.9%) and field goal defense (27.6%), while out-rebounding opponents by 12.3 boards per outing. 

Temple is 2-4 all-time against UConn, with the Owls dropping the last four meetings between the programs. The Owls won the first two games, winning in both 1981 and 1982. After those meetings, the teams didn't play again until the 2010 NCAA tournament, where UConn topped Temple, 9-36. UConn also took both meetings in 2014, sweeping the American Athletic Conference regular-season match-ups, before winning their clash earlier this season. 

When the teams met two weeks ago, UConn handed Temple at 92-58 loss at Gampel Pavilion on January 14. The Huskies were firing on all cylinders, shooting 52% from the field, while out-rebounding the Owls, 58-32. UConn's Morgan Tuck led all players with 24 points, going 11-12 from the field. Breanna Stewart finished with 19 points, while Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis notched a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards. Temple sophomore Feyonda Fitzgerald led four players in double-figures for the Owls, scoring 16 points with 12 coming in the second half. Junior Erica Covile recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while picking up two steals. Covile's double-double stands as the only giving up by UConn in 20 games this season. 

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